Mid-week news!

Congratulations to Elswick’s Gillian Allen who has been selected to represent England in the masters marathon event on 7th October in Chester. Gillain’s competition will be against a Celtic nations combined team.


Gillian has already started well in her preparations, finishing 1st female at last night’s Kirkley 10 km road race with a 40.30 finishing time. Elswick’s ever improving Andrew Ball was placed second overall in the race in 37.32, so a fine team collective medal haul. Dean Pepperell placed 11th in 40.29. David Jardin placed 24th in 43.37 and Brian Stonehouse placed 51st in 50.09. Congratulations and well done to all of our runners last night. All of last nights results can be found here > Kirkley 10km results

A second consecutive week of success for Elswick at a Run Nation event.  At Stamfordham 10k on 20 June, Gina Howorth was the first lady in a course record time of 40.44.  Andrea Banner was second lady in 42.18, closely followed by Peter Sloan in 42.45, who took the V60 prize.  A clean sweep for Elswick in the team prizes with both the male and female team claiming first prize.  The men’s team consisted of Peter Sloan (15th), David Jardin (44.39, 23rd)  and Brian Stonehouse (50.34, 58th); the women’s team Gina Howorth  (9th), Andrea Banner (15th) and Lindsey Grant (47.02, 32nd).  Father and daughter duo Phil and Charlotte Baston completed the Elswick line-up finishing in 51.44 (38th) and 47.36 (63rd) respectively.

Gina back in winning form – 1st lady at Stamfordham 10K

On the same night was the popular Weetslade Relays.  The event was won by Morpeth Harriers in 41.46 with Tyne Bridge in second place in 45.21.  There was a spectacularly close finish with Tyne Bridge Harrier’s third leg runner James Dunce just pipping Elswick’s Justina Heslop to the post, putting Elswick into third place.  It was a fine performance by the trio of Andrew Bell, Jason Old and Justina.   Andrew gave the team a great start by finishing in fifth place, with Jason taking the team into second place.  Justina was up against predominantly male competitors in the final leg and she did so well to bring the team home in 45.26, just 5 seconds behind Tyne Bridge.  It was great to see Justina back in action after the birth of her second daughter.

We had a further five teams out in force, as follows:

19th Martin Connelly, Cath Lee, Andrew Ball 48.35

45th Richard Houghton, Melissa Bateson, Shaun Connelly 53.35

51st Mike Russell, Amy Brown, Mark McNally 53.53

62nd Daniel Nettle, Marie Drozdovich, Andy Middleton 56.04

85th Steve Curry, Lalage Brown, Tom Hanson 1.0045

Well done to everyone who took part ensuring that we had six complete teams, being the maximum number permitted per club.  And thanks to everyone who expressed an interest in taking a place in the team.  There will be further relays coming up, so hopefully many more can have a go.

Anita Nott – Women’s only 5k race – Jesmond Dene  – Monday 25 June

This continues to be a popular race in June with 457 women turning out to compete on the steeply undulating Jesmond Dene/Heaton Park course.  In memory of Heaton Harrier’s Anita Nott deceased, the race this year was aptly won by Danielle Smythe of Heaton in a time of 18.37.  Four ladies of Elswick took part and were rewarded with impressive times in spite of the warm climes and sharp inclines.  First home was Amy Heptinstall in 22.58 (50th), Mary Lisle in 24.23 (76th), Donna Stokes in 28.12 (183rd) and Irene Henderson in 31.41 (286th and 5th in the V65 category).

Lots more mid-week racing to look forward to.  Next week is the Tynedale 10K with its pie and pea supper, this year hosted at the Adam and Eve pub.  Entries can be submitted on-line and all numbers are to be collected on the night.  For details go to







NEYDL at Hexham. Junior Track & Field Competition.

Hexham report by Ken & Jan Heslop. The penultimate track & field meeting was held at Wentworth stadium Hexham. Mediterranean temperatures awaited all comeptitors. Elswick Harrier juniors teamed up with South Shields. So many athletes to mention individually: please view the provisional results > results 

Some fantastic performances, with some athletes making their debut. There was some interesting styles in the long jump, but the girls really enjoyed it. A brilliant turnout of supporters parents and grandparents, great to see they all enjoyed it ,the beautiful weather did help….. photos from the day: Some of junior Team Elswick & The ‘Home Stretch‘ . Zac Old was 1st in 800m under 15 and Poppy Old was 1st under 13 800m. Zara Naughton was 3rd under 13 1500m and Caitlin Flanagan was 5th under 13 1500m.

The next and final track meeting of the NEYDL is on Sunday 15th July at Churchill playing fields Whitley Bay. Elswick and South Shields will be the hosting clubs for this event.We will need as many athletes & parents as possible to get involved to help out and  make this last event as successful as possible. A special mention to Judith and Kerrie for their driving determination to make sure these track events go ahead. Again a big well done to the juniors who all did their best with determination and all had big smiles they were all brilliant.  Jan & Ken.



Tuesday leave the centre at 7.15 pm for a warm up. Tom Hanson to advise. Session is the 5 mile handicap run.

Thursday leave the centre at 7.15 pm for a Blayney Row warm up. Then 1,2,3,5 mins on playing field / then short hill reps /  Then 1,2,3 mins with recovery recovery on the field. Then everyone off to watch England v Belgium!

Spring 2018 Marathon review

The Spring of 2018 saw 20 Elswick Harriers featuring in six marathons spread over three continents.

We begin in Tokyo on 25 February. Hardly spring like conditions in Tokyo at this time of year, but great news for Brits who are used to training in harsh winter conditions. The temperature on race day was 4 degrees with a light icy breeze, but the course is flat and perfectly smooth – not a single pothole – a revelation for our two Elswick runners Mike Russell and Andrea Banner. Mike finished in 3.24 and Andrea in 3.16, leaving them both with one more marathon (Boston) to complete the series of six Marathon Majors.

Next up was Boston, the original city road marathon, on Monday 16 April. Our sole Elswick representative was Richard Houghton who braved the torrential rain and wind. If you get a chance to watch the footage, you will be amazed to see how the African athletes struggled in the wet and cold conditions, trying to race in rain jackets which only served to create drag and hinder their progress. They dropped out of the race one by one, leaving a hardy Japanese athlete to be the surprise victor. Richard said it was the most difficult race, physically and mentally. Having to wait around for a couple of hours before the race on a soaking field was not an ideal way to start. However, Richard overcame the hurdles in his way to finish in an impressive 3.06.18. No way near his best time, but with good reason.  He now aims to c

And if that wasn’t enough for Richard, six days later on Sunday 22 April, he was lining up at the start of the London Marathon, swapping his thermal and waterproof gear for factor 50 sun lotion. It was the hottest London Marathon on record, with temperatures reaching 24 degrees. Great news for the spectators, but horrendous for the runners. Our posse of ten Elswick Harriers all felt the impact of the unusually high temperatures, particularly as there is very little shade on the course, but they all did admirably without anyone having to drop out. Our finishers were Jason Old 3.07.52, Mark Turnbull 3.12.24, Andrea Banner 3.19.24, Richard Houghton 3.21.26, Rob Emson 3.40.56, Dave Jardin 3.43.01, Elspeth Aspinall 3.56.34, Debbie Spoor 3.58.34, Robert Lambert 4.32.44 and Joanna Bond 5.18.13.

On the same day, Mandy Kennon completed her very first marathon in Blackpool where by complete contrast to London, the conditions were wet and cool.  There was a scandal in the women’s race owing to two or three of the top female finishers actually being men who had taken their friend’s or partner’s race numbers.  As a consequence, the female award presentation was abandoned – a real shame for the genuine high ranking females.  But for our Mandy, there was a personal victory in comfortably completing her first attempt at the 26.2 mile distance, finishing in 5.01.41.  Here she is – all smiles.


Next to Liverpool and the Rock’n’Roll Marathon on Sunday 20 May.  Elswick had a team of three doing the full marathon and a couple of supporters who ran the half marathon before taking up their spectating duties.    Simon Lynch, the marathon training co-ordinator for the Bunnies, continues to get better and better and went well under four hours, finishing in 3.51.28.  Tina McIver and Kay Thompson ran side by side finishing  in 4.57.26.  It was Kay’s first marathon and Tina’s second.  They both clearly loved the experience and the atmosphere in Liverpool, and reported that the support from the two half marathoners Dave Jardin and Leanne Hymer undoubtedly spurred them on.  The celebrations continued into the night on the dance floor of the Cavern Club.

Teamwork from Tina and Kay:

Sunny scene on Liverpool’s Pier Head with Simon , Tina, Kay, Leanne and Dave.


Finally, a trip up north to Edinburgh on Sunday 27 May.   Four marathoners and two half marathon runners.  First home was Simon McEnaney in 3.26.04, second Michael Clegg in 3.55.37, third Amy Lauren completing her first ever marathon in 4.23.30 and last, but by no means least Christiane James in 4.57.13, an almost identical time to our other female over 60 marathoner Tina (in Liverpool).  Here’s Christiane on the scenic Edinburgh route.

Well done to one and all.  Looking forward to hearing about the next tranche of marathon adventures.

Research Study Program Invitation

The club has been contacted by Dr. Dan Peart, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Program Leader Applied Sport and Exercise Science, Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences at Northumbria University. 

They are running a research study investigating the effects of training and diet on the types of bacteria living in the gut, and the impact this has on nutrients released into the blood. For this we are looking to recruit twenty regular marathon runners. The purpose of this message is to ask the club’s permission to advertise the study to your members. There is a more detailed participant information sheet that we can forward on, but in brief, each participant will be asked to complete a 5-day food diary and provide a blood, urine and stool sample. We would be able to offer a laboratory fitness test free of charge to compensate for each volunteer’s time.

If your are interested in taking part then please get in touch with Dan: Tel: 0191 227 3712 or email: Daniel.peart@northumbria.ac.uk

Junior competition round up / Senior training / Triathlon X

Monday 18th June 2018: Several Elswick Harriers had fine performances representing their schools at the ESAA regional track and field cup in Middlesbrough today. Strong runs by Zak Old, pictured below in the 1500m, Zach Ikwue (300m) William Butterworth (1500m) Zara Naughton (1500m – running with girls a year older) and Jessica Moorland ran the 300m and Emily Allison also represented her school this week and ran the 800m in Middlesborough.

At the weekend, two of our junior athletes represented Northumberland at the schools inter county track and field event at Gateshead stadium this weekend. Suzannah Fielding and Hannah Tumia we’re selected and took part in the inter-girls (years 10/11) 3000 m event. Neither girls had run this distance on the track before and ran impressive times in their first attempt, finishing 2nd and 4th respectively (1st and 3rd in final results as front runner was a senior girl). Well done girls! Representing Ponteland High School, Elswick Harriers and Northumberland. Keep up the good work!


















Over in the Lake District, Ambleside, Elswick’s Mark Turnbull produced a superb performance at the full distance triathlon (Triathlon X) on Saturday. Notoriously and deliberately difficult. Recognised as the world’s toughest Full Ironman Distance. The 140.6 mile event welcomed the triathletes with an apocalyptic deluge of cold, horizontal rain on the 112 mile bike ride. Mark (and probably a few others?) was so cold he had to back to his lodgings, have a hot bath and then start his Helvellyn Marathon leg to complete the race. It was either that, or retire. Mark choose the hot bath! Mark crossed the finish line in 23rd place overall and was 3rd placed V50. A superb finishing place for Mark. Very well done and congratulations. Mark’s next full distance triathlon is Ironman Barcelona in October, which should prove to be a tad warmer!


Senior Training sessions this week: Tuesday. Leave centre at 7.15 pm warm up & head towards Station Bank: 3 x Station Bank (or 5 shorter reps if preferred).

Thursday. Leave centre at 7.15pm. Blayney Row warm up loop. Then on the playing field with short reps: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 3 – 2 -1 min(s) all with 1 min recovery.

Newburn River Run. Event report & results.

A warm, overcast evening awaited 292 runners for the 2018 Newburn River Run. A new start line for competitors. Runners make their way on the footpath adjacent to the river, towards Wylam and finishing on the grounds of the Newcastle University Rowing Club (thankfully the Hurricane Hector held off!). Post run, runners enjoyed a complimentary supper pack and the age group awards took place in a packed out function room. Congratulations to all the runners taking part, we sincerely hope you enjoyed your 6 mile run. Taking the two main prizes: Morpeth’s Jane Hodgson won the women’s race in 35.37 and retained the Hazel Simpson Trophy. Tyne Bridge Harriers Tom Charlton, won the men’s race in 30.30 and received the new Colin Bolton Trophy. This new trophy is in recognition for the club’s standout servant to the club: A 60 year club member, the coach, the athlete, the treasurer, a true gentlemen.

Well done to both winning athletes. Enclosed below, are the results your your perusal. These should be uploaded to Sportsoft’s data base by Friday.

2018-River-Run(word)  2018 River Run (pdf). Thank you all for your support. Thank you to the 40 marshals who were out on the course, you were all superb. 

A special note of appreciation to Tom Hanson, Val Wilson, Michelle Coleman, Derek Nelson, Keith Batey, Frank Watson and Martin Connelly.

Please do join us in 2019 for the Newburn River Run, where the club will be celebrating its 130 year anniversary.

The Newburn River Run. Wednesday 13th June 2018. Are you ready?

In advance of the club’s event tomorrow: Thank you to all the participants & helpers, for what we hope will be a grand event and a grand run! Please be mindful that Newburn Bridge is closed to vehicles (but open to pedestrians). Please allow extra time for your car journey if you were intending to use the bridge. An alternative,could be Scotswood Bridge and drive along Lemington Road to arrive at Newburn Activity Centre (Post Code NE15 8ND).

Late entries can be purchased in the activity centres sports hall from 6 pm to 7 pm. Event start time is 7.15 pm. A new start line for 2018: Which is on the foot path & open grass area (adjacent to the river & the children’s play area, just beyond the Keelman pub). Please follow the signposts from the sports hall. After your run, please follow the sign posts back to the activity centre, where the results will be announced around 9 pm (with a broad range of age group,club team, and spot prizes). All finishers will receive a complimentary supper pack. Best of luck and thank you for supporting our event.


Senior track and field league

The second fixture in the senior track and field league took place on Sunday 3 June in Darlington.

Elswick is part of a joint team with our neighbouring club Blaydon. Anyone who is interested can participate. There’s the full range of events including long jump, high jump, discuss, javelin, shot put, hurdles, 100, 200, 800, 1500 and 3,000 metre races. Every participant scores at least a point for their team. It’s run in a relaxed atmosphere, with no pressure to win, but rather encouragement to “have a go” and score some points for your team.

Cath Lee co-ordinates the Elswick squad and liaises with Blaydon to ensure that as many events as possible are covered. The next meeting is on Sunday 8 July in Whitley Bay, so contact Cath should you be interested. It’s a fun team outing and the more the merrier.

The joint Elswick / Blaydon team at Darlington

Picnic break between events – Joanne Brown, Jen Scarlett, Amy Heptinstall, Steve Allinson, Cath Lee


Joanne Brown in the 400 metres – first ever attempt since school days.  She got the hang of it once she understood that you have to stick to your lane!


Steve – looking confident as he overtakes on the bend.